Chinese 'debt traps' non-existent, says Foreign Ministry spokesperson

US accusations of China creating "debt traps" for smaller countries are irresponsible and disappointing lies, the Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday after US Defense Secretary James Mattis claimed Tuesday that China was encouraging smaller countries to pile on massive debt.

Despite "a huge number of facts and data," the US was continuing to tell lies and make irresponsible comments to satisfy its own political needs, which was disappointing, spokesperson Lu Kang said at a routine press conference of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday.

Lu's remarks came after Mattis said on his way to Vietnam for a visit on Tuesday that China was engaging in "predatory economic behavior" to encourage smaller countries to pile on "massive debt" that "fiscal analysis would say they are going to have difficulty, at best, repaying," the South China Morning Post said on Tuesday.

Lu said that China understands that many less developed countries face bottlenecks in development as China itself went through that stage before. That was why China is providing win-win assistance without attaching any political conditions, he said.

Many developing countries hope that developed countries like the US would also help them out, Lu said.

But even if they cannot help, the developed countries should not interfere in others' assistance programs.

It was immoral to sacrifice people's happiness and benefit in developing countries to serve your own political needs, he said.

None of the countries have fallen into debt traps because of China, Lu said.

Chinese loans made up only 10 percent of Sri Lanka's foreign debt by 2017, and the Philippines counts only less than 1 percent, according to Lu.

Leaders and officials from Sri Lanka, Pakistan and African countries have also denied the trap and they are the best qualified to judge, Lu said.

The US should see Chinese cooperation with the developing countries in the correct way and make more concrete efforts to help them develop, rather than sow dissension, Lu concluded.

Editor: 曹家宁